By LYLE WHITWORTH, Allstate Insurance Agent
You keep flashlights around in case the power goes out. You have a doctor you can call in a medical emergency and a little money in the bank for a rainy day.
But would your family be okay if something happened to you? Unless you prepare now, your family might not be financially protected.
Here are three important steps you should do.
The first is to have a current will. If you don’t have a will, your money, property and personal possessions may not go to the people you want and a court will make decisions on your behalf. With a valid will, you decide who receives your assets.
And if you have minor children, you can name a legal guardian for them so they’ll be taken care of by the person you think is best suited for the job. It’s best to have an attorney draft your will.
The second is to make sure you organize your financial records. If you don’t, your family won’t know where to find the information they need to settle your affairs. Keep your will, birth certificate, Social Security card, property deeds, vehicle titles, insurance policies, military records and other important documents in a safe place.
Then write a letter of instruction telling your family where to find them. Include a list of your bank, retirement and investment accounts and contact information for your attorney and anyone else who should be notified.
The third step is to make sure you have the right amount of life insurance. It may be impossible for your family to maintain their lifestyle without you. Life insurance can help your loved ones keep the family home and take care of outstanding debts, as well as provide money for future financial needs.
If you follow the three steps listed above, your family will be in much better shape in case something happens to you.
If you have any questions or need more information, call or go by your local insurance agent.